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Regulatory Action Center Review - January 23, 2020

01/23/2020

Welcome to FreedomWorks Foundation’s first regulatory review of 2020! Our Regulatory Action Center proudly updates you with the latest regulatory actions from the swamp. We want to smash barriers between bureaucracy and the American people by delivering regulatory news straight to FreedomWorks activists. Check back next month for the next edition.

Public Sector Union Transparency: Department of Labor

The proposed rule - which seeks to bring public-sector unions into compliance with private-sector union disclosure requirements - presents a major win for transparency and accountability. Most private-sector unions are required to disclose their accounting to ensure there are no discrepancies in the way those unions spend their members’ dues. As it stands, intermediate level public sector unions are exempt from this sort of disclosure. With the growth of the Right-to-Work movement across a majority of the states, it is fortunate that the Trump administration has chosen to support transparency and consistency in how we treat unions, whether they be private or public.

If you would like to submit a comment in favor of the proposed rule, you can do so here.

National Environmental Policy Act Modernization: Council on Environmental Quality

Through this proposed rule, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) seeks to update the implementation and procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) which hasn’t been updated since 1978. Signed into law by President Nixon, NEPA requires federal agencies to examine the environmental impact of any major action before proceeding, including environmental assessments and environmental impact statements. In response to Executive Order 13807, which instructed CEQ to “simplify and accelerate the NEPA review process,” the CEQ is comprehensively modernizing NEPA to ease the regulatory burden these strict environmental statutes have imposed. Notably, the proposed rule would modernize the process and implementation of NEPA but would not rescind any of the environmental protections found in the original legislation.

If you would like to submit a comment in favor of the proposed rule, you can do so here.

Canadian Drug Importation: Food and Drug Administration

With the cost of prescription drugs skyrocketing in the last decade, concerned activists on both sides of the aisle have increasingly called for reform to our prescription drug model. Though some have gone too far to the left, proposing such ludicrous policies as the international pricing index, the Trump administration has dedicated to a more appropriate and measured response to the issue. Instead of attempting to centrally control the prescription drug market, the Trump administration has proposed a rule that would allow the importation of certain prescription drugs from Canada. Seeing as one of the major issues impacting the rising costs of prescription drugs is the tight constraints the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) places on pharmaceutical manufacturers, opening up the American market to Canadian products has the potential to dramatically decrease the costs of many pharmaceuticals in a market-friendly way. Furthermore, all imported drugs would still be subject to FDA regulations and inspections, meaning that fears of inferior quality products entering the U.S. market are unfounded.

Organ Donation: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

One of the greatest tragedies of our healthcare system that receives far too little attention is the rampant fraud, waste, and abuse in our organ donation system. Organ procurement is managed by federal agencies known as Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) which have a geographic monopoly to procure donated organs within their jurisdiction. Unfortunately, because of a lack of oversight or consequences, these OPOs have been consistently underperforming their statutory requirements, only collecting organs from an average 1 in 3 eligible donors. The proposed rule change from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services with new objective, transparent, and reliable measures to ensure that OPOs are meeting their obligations to the health of the community.

School Lunches: Food and Nutrition Services

In an effort to rescind many of the overly burdensome regulations placed on public schools by the Obama administration, the Food and Nutrition Service is promulgating a proposed rule that would simplify meal pattern and monitoring requirements in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Rather than removing nutrition requirements, as some pundits have fallaciously stated, the proposed rule instead seeks to grant localities with greater flexibility in managing these programs. Under the previous rules, many schools were forced to pay exorbitant prices and sacrifice efficiency to comply with unreasonably strict requirements. In short, the proposed changes would help public schools by granting them adequate leeway in managing breakfast and lunch programs while simultaneously ensuring that the health and nutrition of our children remain paramount.